Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper and more in Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense + MP3

When you ask most people, “name a jazz musician today,” 9 out of 10 times you will get the name of someone who is already dead. But jazz today is undergoing some monumental changes and in this documentary film — Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense, by filmmakers Michael Rivoira, Lars Larson and Peter J. Vogt, the musicians take stage front and center to explain the nature of this metamorphosis. Featuring Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Medeski Martin & Wood, Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, Russell Gunn, Dianne Reeves, Terence Blanchard, Bill Frisell, Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Jr., Wayne Shorter and many more. This documentary brings you the rebellious, young, and gifted, responsible for quietly revolutionizing jazz under our noses.

Among those artists participating in the sound revolution is Donald Harrison, Jr. who is making bold moves in the jazz world experimenting to create some very unique compositions. Check out the title track of his latest album Quantum Leap and make sure you also take a peek at the track “NY 2000″ featured on the film.

Donald Harrison, Jr. “Quantum Leap” [MP3]
 

Donald Harrison, Jr. “NY 2000″ [MP3]
 

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M.I.A.’s New Track “Born Free” in Romain Garvas Film

Be Warned: This video contains graphic, violent imagery.

M.I.A. is the latest artist to send the internet into a full-blown frenzy with a video. The short film by French director Romain Garvas, which has been pulled from YouTube and labeled as NSFW elsewhere, is set to the music of M.I.A.’s “Born Free.”
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Film about Northern Soul in the UK: Souled Out Trailer

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With the influx of blue-eyed soul coming out of the UK in the past decade (from Winehouse to Duffy to our lady Alice Russell), one has to question where these deep, obviously soul-influenced voices came from. Hint: watch this video to see what their parents were doing in the mid-seventies. This is a trailer for the soon-to-be-released movie, Souled Out (aka Soulboy), and it’s about UK’s Northern Soul scene and the famous Wigan Casino dance club. After the jump, check out a vintage video of the real thing: dancing at the Wigan Casino crica 1975.

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Fela Kuti Film in the Works

fela-kutiFela! the musical and Knitting Factory reissues have stirred up new interest in the legendary Afrobeat star, and now Focus Features has announced plans for a Fela movie.

Steve McQueen is signed on to direct, and the script will be written by Biyi Bandele, based on Michael Veal‘s book Fela: The Life and Times of An African Musical Icon.

 

 

The first of the Knitting Factory reissue series, The Best of the Black President, is now available from Fela.net in a variety of formats, including special edition packages with extras like downloads, video files, a DVD and more. The deluxe package with Fela T shirt and poster would make a cool holiday gift for your loved ones!